The scandalous Mr. Aveledo

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Ramón Guillermo Aveledo, the Secretary General of the MUD, got mired in a public relations disaster today.

It all started this morning. During a hearing in the United States Senate, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta Jacobson said, under oath, that “members of the MUD” had explicitly asked her to not impose sanctions on representatives of the Venezuelan government because, they allege, it could harm the dialogue process. (see the first five minutes of the above video)

This prompted a hasty retort from Ramón Guillermo Aveledo, the MUD’s Secretary General. In his response, he said that the MUD has advocated against an embargo on Venezuela – something that precisely no one but him is talking about (straw man alert!).

Let’s be clear: it was never in the cards to embargo Venezuela. Sanctions against the Venezuelan economy or its people were not in question. The US is not ready to go that far, and everyone knows that – Senator Rubio himself has made this patently clear in the first three minutes of the video. By bringing that up as an excuse, Mr. Aveledo is either being extremely incompetent, or desperately launching a straw man to cover up for someone.

Aveledo also said that neither the MUD nor its spokespeople (whoever those may be) have asked foreign governments “to exonerate particular people from assuming the responsibility for their acts,” in a somewhat obscure allusion to possible sanctions against a list of high-ranking chavistas. Yes, his denial was in effect an affirmation that none of the MUD spokespeople (again, who exactly are these people?) have asked the US government to exonerate chavistas from bearing their responsibilities. I am literally chuckling while I write this piece of spin-put-together-con-tirro.

Aveledo’s strangely-worded rebuttal to Jacobson (they’ve met before) leaves more questions than answers. For example, he could have reiterated the MUD’s support for sanctions against individual chavistas … but he didn’t. He could have said that Jacobson was lying … but he didn’t, because he can’t know. Or is it because he knows she is not lying? What does Aveledo know, anyway?

Aveledo owes Venezuelans a clearer answer, as do other MUD representatives we are hearing as being suspects in having talked to Jacobson about this, people who shall remain nameless for now.

We don’t like to shoot from the hip at Caracas Chronicles. We don’t know for sure who said what to whom, so we are simply asking these folks to clear the air. We believe public servants should be held accountable. We haven’t come this far to simply not demand from our own politicians the level of openness we demand from chavistas.

Look, folks, let’s not beat around the bush: the opposition is deeply divided right now, and it’s not clear their differences can ever be patched. Major players inside the MUD have simply stopped talking to each other, and we shouldn’t hide that fact any longer. It is what it is, and we need to make the best of it.

But if we’re going to pretend to have unity, we need more openness from those claiming to represent us.

77 COMMENTS

    • Is Jacobson the person to blame? Or maybe could be that the MUD got not International affairs group of pundits that can create an strategy to improve and capitalize the international support. Please, look for an International expert in MUD high ranks, the true is that you’ll find none.

      • Partly yes. Roberta Jacobson is the United States Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs so it is essential that she know to the greatest extent what the situation in Venezuela is about. If Ms. Jacobson should believe MUD’s output is the only reliable source regarding the current crisis, she’s just not doing her job well.

        The other part is the MUD itself, of course. They kinda remind me of Venezuela’s first batch of politicians (Conservative party, Liberal party) who forgot what they were and had to deliver to the people so they ended up fading away forever at the hands of Cipriano Castro and Juan Vicente Gómez.

        • True, MUD may not be the only reliable source, but is certainly the only with an structure and a plan, Civil society and students may have a good set of value and political petitions, but they’re are different, with focus that go from the Core-values issues (democracy and stuff) to the specific petitions ( like LL case and “Political prisioners”) and of course, they act more like cells than political structures (damn, they not even can make a strong political “lobby”) so yes, MUD is not a reliable source but is the only one with leverage to discuss.

          My point is, that even if it (MUD) have a plan or and objective, the fact that they concentrate more in the defense of values (different one of another if you are from AD, PJ, UNT or VENTE) that in getting real power (not moral victories, but real victories), so that’s why MR aveledo and all the political “stars” are so concerned with image and that’s also why, i can blame jacobson for it

          • Ask a member of Student movement, Movement 13, javu or whatever about their objectives, and you’ll find not an specific objective or even how they will get what they want (getting more democracy is not a real objective). MUD got a political plan (not a good one) about what they’ll do when they get to government and an objective that much of the time they forget (get the power). Civil society doesn’t got that, students doesn’t got that. The “How we do that” is what separate the MUD in two sides

          • I’ll begin by saying that I believe having a good plan is important.

            But having no plan can’t be much worse than having a bad plan. In both situations the only way to succeed is by luck.

          • so… you’se saying that beacuase MUD is “organised” they’re the only that can have a say in the situation? why not, instead, integrate the other parts (students, sindicates, society) into a real MUD, and make a more and honest front against this dictatorship? and i do live in Vzla

          • Because multiple agendas and multiple objectives (even diverse ideology) are not factor that make strong a political movement (For an example: Social-democrat/social cristian coalition of merkel reduce it ability to mantain fiscal discipline, Coalition nueva mayoria en Chile and also “Alianza” got problems with it own parties). if you see the political core of MUD is a center-left structure, formed by people with some political experience and at least a little homogeneity in their political lefty-values ( i don’t like MUD btw, is just a reformist version of government central-planification).

            i’m a realist, political change is something that we all want, but is important to gain power to do those changes and not just with protest, anti-political actions and random acts like guarimbas ( something that civil society and The studen movement may not understand) so yes, even if i don’t like MUD, they’re the ones that may understand how important is power to change societies.

            The problem that i see is more the how (El fin justifica los medios o no?) and how far ethics or political values constrain the interest for power.

    • She was asked a question…she answered…Lie in USA? Lie to the senate?

      You could kill someone in the United States, but the worst crime would be to say you didn’t.

        • No, I’m not kidding, despite how she say it (Yes she was vague), the answer to the question made by Rubio was clear “Yes”.

          So I have to believe Jacobson has something under the sleeve and lied in the senate (because everyone can understand that the answer was: yes, people in the MUD asked us not to put any sanction because it will hinder the dialogue). and believe everyone in the MUD is a saint, and no one said such a thing, therefore Jacobson is lying -.-

          • Sender47 is right. Americans are just too pure to lie in the Senate. We, Latin Americans, would never get that.

    • Quico, MUD blew up at the very instant Maduro took power.

      Not even oppo people trust them anymore, they behave like a cartel in a fashion easily mistakable with PSUV’s antics

    • I does not seem that blowing the MUD to smithereens was her intention. She seems cornered. But what would any of us Know.

      • again, why are you blaming jacoboson? i mean, if MUD did nothing wrong, why they didn’t make a statement like a month ago, saying that they in fact held that kind of conversations with the state departmente, because, let me tell you something folks, i don’t know if you live in Vzla, but like a month ago, that news of the MUD having a reunion with the state department was in the air here, and they say that was a lie and a strategy of the cuban G2… the reunion did occur, and the MUD simply lie…

        MUD lies are fault of MUD itsel, i’m sorry to break this to yoy, not of roberta jacobson

    • Either she wanted to send a message (which Im sure is not worth risking your next Ambassador post for), or she just plain and simple fudged up. Waking up to 250 detained students and the head of Sin Mordaza in SEBIN headquarters, it cannot be easy having to sit there and stand up to the pressure of Senators grilling you on why you’re not doing anything about this, only because its the Administration´s position (wait for dialogue to take its course). The bigger question is why Maduro went ahead with this escalation of repression and arbitrary raids knowing full well that a US Senate hearing on HHRR would be happening in hours… it sure raises a lot of questions….

  1. Look, either Aveledo coughs up the names of those that went to speak with Robertson (that ARE part of the dialogue table, she squirmed a lot and tried to play dumb but finally admitted it), or, he’s an accomplice.

    *I* believe that both his hastyness and the fact that he tried to pass sanctions for the boli-burgeois as sanctions for the whole country are evidence that he’s a filthy traitor to the cause of Venezuelan freedom, willing to step over the corpses of protester just to keep his and the rest of the MUD’s positions and dirty business and that the “dialogue” was an even bigger farce that we believed, but is me.

  2. I think Jacobson wasn’t supposed to say that in the first place. Aveledo probably knows what’s up, I highly doubt it was made without his knowledge or consent. Now, about the hearing, all the senators seemed eager for more responsiveness by the administration and it’s good to know this issue is getting broader support. I didn’t know Sens. Kaine, Johnson and Durbin cared about it. Of course Rubio, Nelson and Menendez would worry, lest they wanted their constituents to burn them.

  3. The mud, never a name was better chosen for a group becoming irrelevant very fast. Today, the opposition is in the street not trading jokes with Maduro.

  4. Welcome to the land of unstated assumptions: 1. For the US to impose selective sanctions on the aforementioned list of villains at this point, rather than holding out the threat, would be a useful move. 2. The MUD leadership should under no circumstances convey in private to US officials what its views are on this. 3. It’s absolutely de rigeur to demand full public disclosure from your side when they are involved in delicate and complex negotiations, but on the other hand, US state department officials should be required to be economical with the truth.

    It’s pretty obvious that the MUD leadership is losing credibility daily by sticking with these talks. And it may well be that the time has passed for them to walk out in a huff, attempt to restore it and mend fences with the rest of the opposition. But I’m not impressed with the tone of moral outrage from the other lot, frankly.

    OK, now jump on me from a great height.

    • I think you’re right. The galling thing is that the condition on dialogue seems to be that Gabriela del Mar Ramirez keeps her trips to Disney World, all this while Venezuelan students are being jailed and tortured – and that it’s not the Venezuelan government lobbying for this, but the MUD!

  5. I’m listening to the statements from Jacobson and Malinowski, and one thing is clear: dialogue is a way for Diosdado Cabello and Luisa Ortega to keep their bank accounts and their trips to Orlando. It is clear that the only thing preventing sanctions on Venezuelan individuals is the fact that dialogue is happening. The MUD, by sitting down at the table, is sending a lifeline to the government. What are they getting from it? We’ll see.

    • In a way, you put your finger on it right there, with the reference to the Defensora del Puesto. I think it’s really important not to let natural, healthy moral outrage get in the way of sorting out this mess. If one of the conditions of restoring decency and democracy to Venezuela is to buy Gaby a lifetime Mickey Mouse pass, I’ll be all for it. Restoring democracy is necessarily a messy and painful business and involves a whole slew of choices between bad and worse, over and over again, for months and sometimes years. And at the end of it, a lot of very nasty people get to keep their freedom, their BMW’s and their American Express cards.

      And to respond to your second point: don’t you think it’s a bit odd that the people who are supposedly benefitting from these talks are taking a bazooka to the whole process day after day? I mean, does Rodriguez Torres think that by demolishing the peace camps he is promoting dialogue? It’s worth thinking about.

      • I’m all for making a deal with the devil. But honestly, I don’t see how standing in the way of sanctions against Gabriela del Mar buys us anything other than deserved widespread scorn from our bases. Negotiate? Yes, but do it when it matters, for things that matters. Don’t feed people’s paranoias.

        • and besides who the hell ever ‘died or suffered’ from not being able to fly to see Mickey Mouse, I mean these ‘sanctiosn’ the MUD is opposing are ridiculous to begin wtih

          • Sanctions go much farther than denying the sanctionee the right to see Mickey Mouse.

            We’re talking frozen bank accounts, confiscation of property, prohibition from economic and business dealings both by, for and with those sanctioned.

            These sanctions have teeth, Jota.

      • And to respond to your second point: don’t you think it’s a bit odd that the people who are supposedly benefitting from these talks are taking a bazooka to the whole process day after day? I mean, does Rodriguez Torres think that by demolishing the peace camps he is promoting dialogue? It’s worth thinking about.

        This is a debate I’ve been going back and forward in my head all week. I used to be the Number 1 proponent of the idea that repression was designed to spur more protests – a cynical gambit from a government that (I used to think) stands to gain from added conflict.

        But is the HRW report really consistent with that? Is beating people up in a dark cel in police detention really about spurring on more protests? The incomunicado stuff? And what about the super-onerous regímenes de presentación, and the threat of very heavy jail terms for contempt if you break them by protesting again? Is this the policy mix of a security state that feels it gains from more and more protests in middle class areas?

        I just don’t think the evidence points that way. The *way* they’re going about the repression, the very camera-shyness Juan discussed, points to guys repressing to get us off the streets, not keep us out furious on them.

        • I think they want to accomplish both things at the same time:
          1- Keep the protest going as long and as intense as possible
          AND
          2- Intimidate as many people as possible so they don’t protest anymore

          They couldn’t accomplish number 2 without number 1. Even if they seem contradictory. The objective is not merely to quiet down the streets to reduce the protests.
          The real purpose is to break the spirit of as many people as possible either by direct intimidation or by example. After all is said and done, and the protests have died out, the people opposing the government would have witnessed the greatest protests in history and the greatest repression but no solution to the problem. Disappointment and desolation will set in which translates into defeatism and passivity, the real objective of the government.

          • Agreed. The slow motion bolivarian coup is still unraveling, 15 years on. Brilliant long game.

        • Yes, it’s a hard one to call. Especially because the people behind the repression are the same people that initiated the violence. But on balance I think you’re probably right. The student protests are very damaging to the regime and they want to stop them. Repression tends to work. It scares people, and eventually those with the guns and the teargas and the torture facilities tend to come out on top. At the same time, the regime is not seriously negotiating anything, it is playing for time and hoping to demoralise, discredit and divide the opposition. Those engaging in it on the opposition side have to decide at what point the cost outweighs any advantage, in terms of being seen to be willing to talk, and also perhaps in terms of establishing the channels of communication that might allow genuine negotiations at some future point.

          Neither government nor opposition has the political strength to resolve this alone. And that does not look like changing any time soon. So one way or another there will have to be negotiations. Brute force may temporarily calm the streets. But you can’t fix the economy with guns. Unfortunately, it seems as if only a total collapse will eventually persuade enough people on the government side that it is time to change course.

    • I agree, it is apparently MUD members who are actually helping keep the crooks out of jail and help them continue to enjoy their hard stolen money…….

    • It was grandstanding, but it was good.
      Sheesh it would be awful to be dragged in front of one of those things.
      Who wanted Rubio to ask the question I guess is my question?

    • What surprised me the most were the other senators. Kaine showed real concern and Durbin was on fire too. Even McCain looked tame compared to them, though that may have to do with age…

  6. I agree Roberta Jackobson screwed it up big big time. I am not surprised, the way many of these figures act is not precisely that sophisticated, after all. even if they should be.

    The MUD has been screwing it up for a long time now.

    What I don’t know is how many think the way I think about the essence of this “dialogue”. For me the only sense this thing can have (and I hate to call it dialogue but be it) is twofold:

    1) to force the government to respond in front of the Venezuelan (and Cuban as this could be broadcast through Telesur) to grilling from the opposition and
    2) to enable the Venezuelan opposition to reach directly those Venezuelans it could not reach because of technical issues (no cable and rural) or interests (ultra disappointed and not willing to watch them unless in a confrontation with chavismo) AND Cubans in Cuba.

    Any kind of “dialogue” behind closed doors is not only pointless for a) and b) but absolutely counterproductive for us. Dialogues behind closed doors are good for some – some – of the negotiations to build a coalition in Belgium or the Netherlands or for the liberation of some kidnapped people anywhere
    but never ever for dealing with a regime that is basically not interesting in anything but gaining time and legitimacy.

    We are doing exactly the same or worse than the opposition in Zimbabwe.

    • The notion of “negotiations” with the government is a bad idea on principle. There is nothing to negotiate, specially with a government that violates human rights among other crimes. OTOH, Dialog is not so bad it is even hard to escape, and televised dialog is actually a very good idea. The problem is that apart from the initial show there is little else to be gained or accomplished with extended dialog.

      Like others have mentioned the MUD is paying a political price by maintaining the dialog charade. An exit strategy is necessary and the government may have provided a good excuse with the latest rash of massive detentions of students. “Dialog” should be interrupted until the human right violations are stopped and the judicial harassment ceases. The HRW report is a good support and it has come at the right time too.

      • Amieres,

        I know a real dialogu is not possible. The only purpose I see is to have a public fight for everyone to see.
        We need to force everyone to respond in real time to the accusations of the other so that the public – the general population – draws its conclusions and we need to do that on a regular basis.
        If the government accepts to participate in regular open debates it will get screwed up. If it
        refuses, it will get screwed by the general public.
        What we are doing now with meetings behind closed doors is the worst possible scenario for the opposition. But a “show” as you call it (and show it is) can be very beneficial for us. It is simply something
        we have never seen before and will be avoided by all means by an autocratic regime.

        And that is what no one seems to be understanding in the Americas, perhaps because the sense of a political debate is little known (but for presidential elections outside Venezuela).

        We need to force the regime to reveal itself one way or the other for what it is.

        • We had that with the first round of dialogues which was televised in a cadena, and then the MUD establishment unilaterally conceded the its public nature, taking it behind closed doors.

          • I know we had the first meeting like that but I don’t understand why it is so difficult for Venezuelans to see there CAN be something different from either a forced cadena or closed doors.
            The MUD can ask the next meetings to be broadcast via the national (our national, everyone’s national) TV. That is enough. People can watch it or not. In reality I am sure a lot of people will watch it, at least in part and that would be something the government will hate…in fact, I am almost sure the government will reject having live conferences.

          • Sure that would be a sound compromise, no need for a cadena if a national station (like public VTV) will broadcast it, or any TV station (like Avila TV or Canal i) for that matter, since CNN and New-Globovisión are likely to carry it simultaneously.

            I think it’s a matter of open or closed mettings, and Chavismo wants closed meetings (remember the OAS?). If Chavismo were willing to have open meetings, a cadena is unlikely to trouble them as “abusive” or “imposing”, considering they have zero problem with forcing a cadena on Venezuelans just to sing happy birthday to one of their goons.

          • So: why would the MUD accept a closed-door meeting? Why can’t Acevedo & Capriles declare to the whole world they want any meeting to be televised, no need of Cadena, just use one bloody channel?
            (and I agree there will be other channels that would like to transmit a lot of it)

          • I’d like there to be a different answer than “Because they’re whimps”.

            Unfortunately I have no such answer yet, maybe some other reader does.

            I’m skeptical of the whole “MUD/HCR/RGA are playing a long game, and you/we/the people can’t grasp it” answer, so I’ve discarded it.

  7. Sounds like a comedy of misunderstandings, specially from Roberta Jacobson. I doubt anyone in the MUD asked them not to sanction individuals, they may have expressed that is inconvenient to enact sanctions (economic or otherwise) on the government, or the country but I don’t believe they are interested in protecting anyone specifically, much less all of them. But Jacobson used that line to justify themselves and then couldn’t back down from it without losing face. Rubio forced his hand and extracted that damaging declaration from Jacobson. To me the worst part is that it validates the governments rhetoric of the MUD being puppets of the USA/CIA/DoS.

    I haven’t read Aveledo’s declarations but his mistake is probably rushing to declare instead of taking his time to analyze the situation and prepare a proper response (if one was even necessary).

    • OK I read the Aveledo’s communique and I do not see anything wrong with it. Basically it denies they have ever asked Jacobson not to enact sanctions on individuals. It also says they oppose sanctions against the country because those are counterproductive and ineffective. Nagel calls that last point a straw man but I do not see it that way, it is an important distinction, Sen Rubio makes it himself for the same reason. What Aveledo is saying is that the position of the MUD is in concordance with Rubio’s position.

      The gist of the matter seems to me that Nagel simply doesn’t believe Aveledo is telling the truth and so he demands clarification. But if he were indeed telling the truth what more can he say to clarify?
      Apparently there are rumors around, naming names, I do not know what they are because I haven’t heard them.

      I would ask: are they credible? why would some rumors, spinned by who knows who, be more credible than Aveledo?
      I demand more clarity from CCS (just kidding)

  8. This is the second public row Mr. Aveledo loses in my eyes since the dialogue was launched. Quico is right to point out that the statement given was a non-denial.

    He lost (in my eyes) the first public row barely days after the dialogue was launched, the Foro Penal-MUD controversy, since Foro Penal seems overwhelmingly more credible to me, banking on the goodwill they’ve earned representing all those incarcerated protesters, victims and innocent bystanders; and doing a hell of a more competent job than MUD exposing Chavismo’s actions.

  9. And here we go, back to the fractured opposition times. Apparently we haven’t learn anything about why Chavismo keeps kicking us daily, without cohesion we are very easy to be abused. Meanwhile, Chavismos keeps unified around chavez figure with a “plan” and a goal, it might not look like a plan but they do have one and it is to rule your ass off.
    If we had a chance to take chavismo out it vanished yesterday, we are screwed and we are loving it.
    Diego Arria must be so proud, he finally made it. And Capriles should be proud too, by doing nothing.

    • First off, stop blaming everybody except the MUD. Second, divisions happen because two sides pull on different directions, and third here’s a question: What makes the MUD direction more legitimate?

      No, is serious. What makes the direction that the MUD takes in not fully supporting the student movement or the general disident movement the right one? THEY could be the divisionists (and you seem to be just throwing that insult to make everybody fall in line. Yeah, not happening).

    • Unity is not and end by itself. Unity it’s a menas to defeat Chavism. It doesn’t look like the actions of Ramon Guillermo Aveledo, Ramos Allup and Ramon Jose Medina are conducent to that end.

      Therefore, we must correct what needs to be corrected in order to advance towards the goal of defeating Chavismo.

  10. This post sounds like begging the US to save Venezuela, I’d like this to be solved internally, expecting sanctions from the US or stuff like that is a distraction. It also gives the government excuses and headlines to rally their people.

    • That’s a bad faith argument because of this:

      “Let’s be clear: it was never in the cards to embargo Venezuela. Sanctions against the Venezuelan economy or its people were not in question. The US is not ready to go that far, and everyone knows that – Senator Rubio himself has made this patently clear in the first three minutes of the video. ”

      Not buying the strawman that Aveledo set up to cover his ass.

  11. “We believe public servants should be held accountable. We haven’t come this far to simply not demand from our own politicians the level of openness we demand from chavistas.”

    Ahahahahahahahaaaaa!!! That’s why when Capriles claimed fraud you all didn’t demand ANY real evidence. You took his claims at face value, even though many of them were shown to be lies. The various mesas that he listed as having more votes than voters… yeah, those were lies. The claim that hundreds of voting centers were taken over at gun point, etc….. yeah, no evidence that ever happened.

    But that didn’t stop JC and gang at Caracas Chronicles from accepting and supporting the fraud claims at face value.

    “We don’t like to shoot from the hip at Caracas Chronicles.” I literally choked in laughter when I read that.

      • And neither of those posts in any way question Capriles’ claims of fraud. Thank you for proving my point. In fact, the second one says this:

        “Capriles’s evidence is strong, documented and compelling.” Hahahaha, that’s laughable.

        It was actually none of those. It was a bunch of unfounded allegations, many that were later shown to be complete lies, such as the supposed “mesas” where there had been more votes than votantes, or where Maduro got more votes than Chavez.

        • – the second article, properly quoted, not selectively as you did says:

          “On the one hand, we’ve had a strong emphasis on incidencias – instances of threats, intimidation, bullying, abuse of state power and downright ballot stuffing that strongly suggest that the votes that ended up in the ballot box are not a faithful representation of the electorate’s will as of April 14th. Here, Capriles’s evidence is strong, documented and compelling. Venezuela’s electoral law (Articles 217-226) provides a clear mandate to re-run elections in centers where major irregularities are proven, which is logical: if you determine that, for whatever reason, the votes cast don’t reflect the will of the voters, you better vote again.”

          And that is true. There were plenty of videos of “voto supervisado”, where PSUV agents would supervise the vote of politically vulnerable voters who had something to lose if they were revealed as oppo voters (like beneficiaries of social programs, government employees, students at chavista universities, etc). There were plenty of cases of opposition witnesses being forcefully removed from voting centers by the military or by the Chavista paramilitary groups known as colectivos, etc. There’s also the selective enrolling of voters by CNE, emphasizing Chavista strongholds and ignoring opposition strongholds in the Chavez-Capriles election, and the fact that young people who had recently turned 18 after the Chavez-Capriles election were denied their right to register for the Maduro-Capriels election. So yes… Capriles’ evidence on irregularities was strong. On the other hand, Capriles’ evience on numerical superiority was weak.

          – The first one, which you dared not quote, says:

          “At the moment, there’s a worrying sense in which Capriles is arguing in the conditional tense. More than “I got more votes on April 14th and therefore I won”, what we’re getting is something like “X, Y and Z fraudulent things happened on April 14th and if X, Y and Z had not happened, I would have gotten more votes, and therefore I won.” #NiEsLoMismoNiEs…”

          “What worries me is that Capriles isn’t really alleging numerical fraud. Just the opposite, Capriles is being quite careful not to say “I am the rightful winner because I can prove, through my actas, that I got more votes.””

          “Since nobody else is saying it, I will: in the two places that matter right now – the international community and the armed forces – a fraud claim conjugated in the conditional is just not going to cut it.

          “If you’re serious about convincing the not-already-convinced that you’re the rightful winner of an election, the price of entry is showing evidence that on the day of the vote more people voted for you than for the other guy. There is no way around this.””

          Nice try, better luck spinning things next time.

          • “And that is true. There were plenty of videos of “voto supervisado”, where PSUV agents would supervise the vote of politically vulnerable voters who had something to lose if they were revealed as oppo voters”

            FALSE. There were two videos circulating. One was shown to be from the simulacro before the election. In the other it could not be shown the origin, or the time it was taken. And the assisted vote is a completely legal and legitimate procedure. There has been ZERO proof that anyone was pressured to vote in any way.

            “There were plenty of cases of opposition witnesses being forcefully removed from voting centers by the military or by the Chavista paramilitary groups known as colectivos, etc. ”

            Again FALSE. There were allegations, but no actual evidence this ever happened. Just because someone claims something happened doesn’t mean it did happen. And, again, there was ZERO evidence that in any of the alleged cases there was any vote manipulation.

            “Nice try, better luck spinning things next time.”

            HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAA!! Hilarious. So first you argue that there WAS indeed solid evidence of fraud, then you quote the article saying that Capriles didn’t actually put up real evidence that there was fraud, and then you accuse me of spinning.

            Thanks for the comic relief. Why don’t you post the proof for your allegations before spouting off complete nonsense?

          • “There were two videos circulating. One was shown to be from the simulacro before the election. In the other it could not be shown the origin, or the time it was taken. “

            Where was this determined, that the evidence is weak? The CNE and TSJ refused to admit Capriles recourse. It was declared inadmissible, therefore the evidence was never considered and never ruled on.

            “And the assisted vote is a completely legal and legitimate procedure”

            One Venezuelan can only assist two voters in total in one Venezuelan election. So, if that chavista overseer supervised more than two people, he broke current CNE regulations, therefore it isn’t legal.

            Assisted vote is meant to help people with dissabilities that prevent them from voting on their own, like people with movement disabilities, limited eyesight, etc. Using it to supervise the vote of able-bodied people isn’t legitimate.

            There has been ZERO proof that anyone was pressured to vote in any way.

            Maybe there isn’t any evidence of pre-election threats, at least I don’t remember any.

            But it has always been understood, since the PDVSA firing and the Lista Tascón that public employees have to at least pretend to be chavistas in public.

            http://caracaschronicles.com/2013/04/23/workplace-bullying-as-public-policy/

            Then the government came and harassed public employees after 14-A, confirming the unstated threat to public employees “vote for us or we’ll fire you”. Therefore everyone of those harassed employess can be vindicated in feeling pressured to vote for Maduro, as they were later reprimended.

            “There were allegations, but no actual evidence this (opposition witnesses being forcefully removed from voting centers by the military or by the Chavista paramilitary groups known as colectivos, etc.) ever happened. “

            But the evidence of this is the witness’ testimony. What kind of evidence do you expect? A signed document by the colectivo thugs? An official military report detailing the forceful removal?

            Again, Where were this testimonies determined to be weak or unreliable? The CNE and TSJ refused to admit Capriles recourse. It was declared inadmissible, therefore the evidence was never considered and never ruled on.

            “So first you argue that there WAS indeed solid evidence of fraud, then you quote the article saying that Capriles didn’t actually put up real evidence that there was fraud, and then you accuse me of spinning”

            Let me spell it out for you.

            There is solid evidence of abuses that could have invalidated the results from several voting centers, calling for a limited rerun in the affected centers, that could reverse the official results. CNE and TSJ refused to consider this evidence.

            Yet, the evidence of HCR having numerical superiority of existing votes was weak.

            That’s what the articles were about.

            Let me know if you need further hand-holding with the basic premise of those articles.

  12. You are lost in the minutia!
    This was a perfect double play by Aveledo-Jacobson.
    What came out of it?
    First play: that Maduro et al cannot accuse the MUD to sponsor or support sanctions against Venezuela as a country. Jacobson said it, Aveledo said it.
    Now for individuals, Aveledo does support them and USA Congress does too.
    The second play is a perfect attack on chavista propaganda: Venezuela is not “el chavismo”, “chavez no es el corazon del pueblo”

  13. Quisiera responder a su artículo parte por parte:

    It all started this morning. During a hearing in the United States Senate, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta Jacobson said, under oath, “members of the MUD” had explicitly asked her to not impose sanctions on representatives of the Venezuelan government because, they allege, it could harm the dialogue process. (see the first five minutes of the above video)
    EN LOS PRIMEROS MINUTOS, LAS REFERNCIAS A LA NO APLICACIÓN DE SANCIONES SON GENERALES. NO SE NOMBRA A LA MUD. LA MUD SE NOMBRA CASI UNA HORA MÁS TARDE, DESPUÉS DE LA INTERVENCIÓN DE RUBIO (A PARTIR DE 01:07:10). SIN EMBARGO, TERMINADA LA SESIÓN JACOBSON EMITIÓ UN COMUNICADO ACLARANDO QUE “LA OPOSICIÓN NO HA SUGERIDO ESPECÍFICAMENTE QUE NOS ABSTENGAMOS DE SANCIONAR A INDIVIDUOS”. SI ESTAMOS HABLANDO DE HABLAR CON LA VERDAD, ¿POR QUÉ NO HACE USTED REFERENCIA EN SU NOTA A TAN PERTINENTE ACLARATORIA, EMITIDA DIRECTAMENTE POR LA “PROTAGONISTA” DE LAS DECLARACIONES EN CUESTIÓN, Y EN REFERENCIA CONCRETA A TALES DECLARACIONES?
    This prompted a hasty retort from Ramón Guillermo Aveledo, the MUD’s Secretary General. In his response, he said that the MUD has advocated against an embargo on Venezuela – something that precisely no one but him is talking about (straw man alert!).
    ESTO ES ABSOLUTAMENTE FALSO. EL SENADOR DURBIN DEDICÓ TODA SU INTERVENCIÓN A ABOGAR POR UN EMBARGO PETROLERO (a partir de 00:56:00 y hasta 01:05:00 aprox.), Y FUE PRECISAMENTE EN RESPUESTA A ESTA SUGERENCIA QUE LA SEÑORA JACOBSON MENCIONÓ POR PRIMERA VEZ QUE MIEMBROS DE LA OPOSICIÓN HABRÍAN PEDIDO QUE NO SE IMPLEMENTARAN SANCIONES TODAVÍA (SANCIONES ECONÓMICAS COMO EMBARGO PETROLERO, QUE ERA DE LO QUE ESTABA HABLANDO EN ESE MOMENTO EL SENADOR DURBIN).
    Let’s be clear: it was never in the cards to embargo Venezuela. Sanctions against the Venezuelan economy or its people were not in question.
    UNA VEZ MAS, ESTO ES MENTIRA. SI BIEN EL EMBARGO NO ERA PARTE DE LA PROPUESTA DE LEY QUE MOTIVÓ ESTA SESIÓN DEL SENADO, EL TEMA SÍ ESTUVO SOBRE LA MESA EN REPETIDAS OCASIONES. UNA DE ELLAS, LA YA MENCIONADA INTERVENCIÓN DEL SENADOR DURBIN, QUIEN HABLÓ EXCLUSIVAMENTE DE ELLO. TAMBIÉN FUE UN TEMA TOCADO POR MOISÉS NAÍM Y POR EL EMBAJADOR DUDDY. AMBOS, POR CIERTO, APOYANDO LA POSICIÓN MANIFESTADA POR AVELEDO, DE QUE NO SE CASTIGUE AL PAÍS CON ESTE TIPO DE MEDIDAS, SINO A LOS INDIVIDUOS QUE HAN VIOLADO LOS DDHH, CON SANCIONES INDIVIDUALES.
    The US is not ready to go that far, and everyone knows that
    SI “TODO EL MUNDO” SABE ESTO, POR QUÉ EL TEMA SALIÓ A RELUCIR EN EL DEBATE TANTAS VECES ¿HA VISTO USTED REALMENTE EL DEBATE? LO INVITO A REVISAR LA INTERVENCIÓN DEL SENADOR DURBIN, DE MOISÉS NAÍM, Y DEL EMBAJADOR DUDDY, ANTES DE ASEGURAR NADA EN NOMBRE DE “TODO EL MUNDO”
    – Senator Rubio himself has made this patently clear in the first three minutes of the video.
    EL SENADOR RUBIO NO INTERVIENE EN EL DEBATE SINO HASTA CASI UNA HORA DESPUÉS DE INICIADA LA SESIÓN. LA ACLARATORIA SOBRE ESTE PUNTO LA HACE EN EL MINUTO 1:07:10 DE LA SESIÓN. TAMBIÉN EL SENADOR MENÉNDEZ DEBIÓ ACLARARLO OTRA VEZ EN EL MINUTO 02:53:00 aprox. ¿POR QUÉ? PORQUE LA POSIBILIDAD DEL EMBARGO ESTABA Y ESTÁ CLARAMENTE EN LA MENTE DE MUCHOS Y ESTUVO ABIERTA Y REITERADAMENTE EN LA DISCUSIÓN, AUNQUE NO EN LA RESOLUCIÓN PROPUESTA.
    By bringing that up as an excuse, Mr. Aveledo is either being extremely incompetent, or desperately launching a straw man to cover up for someone.
    EL SR. AVELEDO EN SU COMUNICADO NO TRAE ESTO A COLACIÓN DE LA NADA NI COMO EXCUSA. POR EL CONTRARIO, PIDE EXACTAMENTE LO MISMO QUE NAIM Y DUDDY DURANTE LA SESIÓN EN EL SENADO: NO A LAS SANCIONES ECONÓMICAS CONTRA EL PAÍS. SÍ A LAS SANCIONES CONTRA INDIVIDUOS. LO INVITO A VER DE NUEVO LA SESIÓN Y ESCUCHAR CON DETENIMIENTO ESTAS INTERVENCIONES.
    Aveledo also said that neither the MUD nor its spokespeople (whoever those may be)
    QUIERO SUBRAYAR ESTA FRASE DEL AUTOR “QUIENES QUIERA QUE SEAN”, CON LA CUAL ADMITE Y DESTACA QUE DESCONOCE QUIÉNES SON LOS REPRESENTANTES DE LA MUD
    have asked foreign governments “to exonerate particular people from assuming the responsibility for their acts,” in a somewhat obscure allusion to possible sanctions against a list of high-ranking chavistas.
    ESTOY EN DESACUERDO CON SU CALIFICACIÓN DE “SOMEWHAT OBSCURE ALLUSION”. EL COMUNICADO DE LA MUD DICE: “NUNCA UN VOCERO DE LA MESA DE LA UNIDAD HA PLANTEADO A FUNCIONARIO DE PAÍS ALGUNO (…) QUE SE EXONERE A PERSONAS DE ASUMIR LA RESPONSABILIDAD QUE ACARREA SU CONDUCTA”. ESTA FRASE ES DIRECTA Y CLARA, MÁS AÚN EN EL CONTEXTO DEL RESTO DEL COMUNICADO, Y DE LOS HECHOS PÚBLICOS Y NOTORIOS QUE ORIGINARON SU EMISIÓN: LA MUD NUNCA HA PEDIDO A NADIE QUE EXONERE A NADIE DE SU RESPONSABILIDAD. ¿QUÉ PARTE DE ESTA POSICIÓN LE RESULTA A USTED INSUFICIENTE?
    Yes, his denial was in effect an affirmation that none of the MUD spokespeople (again, who exactly are these people?)
    UNA VEZ MÁS EL AUTOR RECONOCE QUE NO SABE QUIÉNES SON LOS REPRESENTANTES DE LA MUD
    have asked the US government to exonerate chavistas from bearing their responsibilities. I am literally chuckling while I write this piece of spin-put-together-con-tirro.
    ¿“CHUCKLING”, PORQUE DEBIÓ ADMITIR LO INNEGABLE?
    Aveledo’s strangely-worded rebuttal to Jacobson (they’ve met before) leaves more questions than answers. For example, he could have reiterated the MUD’s support for sanctions against individual chavistas … but he didn’t. He could have said that Jacobson was lying … but he didn’t, because he can’t know. Or is it because he knows she is not lying?
    UNA VEZ MÁS, USTED MIENTE. ESPERO QUE NO SEA EXPROFESO SINO POR IGNORANCIA. AVELEDO SÍ PIDIÓ ACLARATORIA A JACOBSON. ES MÁS, ÉSTA LA HIZO (“We wish to clarify that the opposition has not specifically suggested we refrain from sanctions against individuals. Indeed, as the A/S explained in her testimony, some members of the opposition have encouraged it”. POR CIERTO, ESTAS DECLARACIONES FUERON PUBLICADAS, ENTRE OTROS, EN SU PROPIO BLOG, “CARACAS CHRONICLES”.
    What does Aveledo know, anyway?
    INFIERE USTED QUE AVELEDO ESCONDE ALGO. A DIFERENCIA SUYA, YO LE DOY A AVELEDO EL BENEFICIO DE LA DUDA, PUES EN SU ACTUACIÓN HASTA HOY ME HA DEMOSTRADO QUE SE LO MERECE. OTROS PARECIERA QUE ESTÁN TAN DESESPERADOS POR VER UNA CABEZA RODAR, QUE HAN EMPEZADO A CERCENAR LA PROPIA.
    Aveledo owes Venezuelans a clearer answer, as do other MUD representatives we are hearing as being suspects in having talked to Jacobson
    ¡POR DIOS! ¿QUÉ SIGNIFICA ´SER SOSPECHOSO DE HABER HABLADO CON JACOBSON´? ¿ACASO HABLAR CON REPRESENTANTES EXTRANJEROS ES DELITO? YO NO SÉ SI ALGUIEN HABLÓ CON JACOBSON O NO, NI MUCHO MENOS QUIÉNES FUERON. PERO RUEGO A DIOS QUE SÍ HAYA HABIDO, NO UNO, SINO MUCHOS MIEMBROS DE LA OPOSICIÓN QUE HAYAN HABLADO CON ELLA Y SE HAYAN ENCARGADO DE HACERLE CONOCER SU OPINIÓN SOBRE LA SITUACIÓN DE VENEZUELA. SI ASÍ FUE, DOY GRACIAS A ELLOS Y AL CIELO PORQUE EXISTE ALGUIEN HACIENDO MÁS QUE YO –Y ME ATREVO A DECIR TAMBIÉN MÁS QUE USTED- POR MI PAÍS.
    about this, people who shall remain nameless for now.
    ¿CÓMO ES ESTO? ¿USTED SABE NOMBRES Y NO LOS PUBLICA? ¿Y ESO POR QUÉ? ¿QUÉ ES LO QUE USTED ESCONDE?
    We don’t like to shoot from the hip at Caracas Chronicles.
    SE NOTA. SU ARTÍCULO “NO DEJA DUDAS”.
    We don’t know for sure who said what to whom,
    POR FIN DICE UNA VERDAD
    so we are simply asking these folks to clear the air.
    DURÓ POCO. AQUÍ MIENTE USTED DE NUEVO. USTED NO ESTA “SIMPLY ASKING”. USTED DEDICÓ TODAS LAS LÍNEAS ANTERIORES A CONDENAR A PRIORI Y DESPRESTIGIAR A UN INDIVIDUO CON MEDIAS VERDADES Y SUPOSICIONES.
    We believe public servants should be held accountable.
    YO TAMBIÉN. Y POR CIERTO, AVELEDO TAMBIÉN. ES LO QUE HA DICHO CLARAMENTE.
    We haven’t come this far to simply not demand from our own politicians the level of openness we demand from chavistas.
    LO QUE SEA QUE USTED CONSIDERE QUE TIENE DERECHO A “DEMANDAR” DE “SUS” POLÍTICOS, EMPIECE HACIÉNDOLO USTED MISMO: HABLAR CON LA VERDAD COMPLETA.
    Look, folks, let’s not beat around the bush: the opposition is deeply divided right now,
    CIERTAMENTE ÉSTA ES UNA ASEVERACIÓN QUE UN GRUPO DE PERSONAS SE ENCARGA DE PUBLICITAR PERMANENTEMENTE Y QUE, ¿CASUALMENTE?, AYUDA MUCHO A LOS INTERESES DEL GOBIERNO.
    and it’s not clear their differences can ever be patched.
    ¿“THEIR DIFFERENCES”? O SEA, LAS DE “ELLOS”, “LOS DE LA OPOSICIÓN”, PORQUE USTED, ENTONCES, ¿NO ES UNO DE “ELLOS”? ENTONCES ¿DE QUIÉN ES USTED? SI NO SE SIENTE USTED QUE PERTENECE A LA OPOSICIÓN, POR FAVOR NO SE HAGA PASAR POR TAL. ÉSA ES, DE NUEVO, UNA FORMA DE ENGAÑAR, Y MUY BAJA. PERO SI, POR EL CONTRARIO, USTED SE SIENTE GENUINAMENTE DE LA OPOSICIÓN, POR FAVOR, HABLE DE “NOSOTROS”, INCLÚYASE, PORQUE, EN LAS BUENAS Y EN LAS MALAS, LA OPOSICIÓN SOMOS TODOS LOS QUE QUEREMOS UN CAMBIO EN LA FORMA EN QUE SE ESTÁ GOBERNANDO Y DESTRUYENDO AL PAÍS, NO SÓLO LOS QUE TIENEN LA VALENTÍA DE DAR LA CARA POR NOSOTROS FRENTE A LOS MEDIOS Y EL GOBIERNO, Y DESDE ALLÍ, DESDE LA CANDELA, DESDE DONDE SE MENEA EL PANDERO, NO DESDE LA DISTANCIA.
    Major players inside the MUD have simply stopped talking to each other
    ¡SORPRENDENTE! ¿CÓMO SABE USTED ESTO? SÓLO EN ESTE ARTÍCULO ASEGURÓ USTED YA DOS VECES QUE NO SABE QUIÉNES SON LOS REPRESENTANTES QUE INTEGRAN LA MUD O QUE HABLAN POR ELLA, ¿PERO SÍ PUEDE ASEGURAR CON CERTEZA QUE “MAJOR PLAYERS” DE LA MUD NO SE HABLAN ENTRE SÍ? !!
    and we shouldn’t hide that fact any longer. It is what it is, and we need to make the best of it.
    But if we’re going to pretend to have unity, we need more openness from those claiming to represent us.
    Y SI USTED VA A PRETENDER HACERSE PASAR POR INTERESADO EN EL BIEN DEL PAÍS, EMPIECE A PREDICAR CON EL EJEMPLO. HABLAR “ABIERTAMENTE” NO SIRVE DE NADA SI NO SE HACE CON ESTRICTO APEGO A LA VERDAD Y RESPONSABILIDAD ANTE AQUELLO DE LO QUE SE ACUSA A UN TERCERO.

    • Pregunta Rubio: ” Quien en la oposicion les ha pedido que no se impongan sanciones individuales a violadores de derechos humanos?”

      Respuesta Jacobson: “Personas involucradas en el proceso de dialogo nos han pedido que no impongamos sanciones individuales”

      Creo que fue bastante claro Rubio al indicar que esa interpelacion no se trataba de sanciones a nivel pais, si no a nivel individual.

      Y tambien bastante claro que Jacobson sabia que se hablaba de eso

      • Comunidado de Roberta Jacobson: “We wish to clarify that the opposition has not specifically suggested we refrain from sanctions against individuals. Indeed, as the A/S explained in her testimony, some members of the opposition have encouraged it”

        • Hi Andreína Pardo a.k.a Ramón Guillermo Aveledo. Why not openly ask for sanctions on individuals? That would end the discussion. But you don´t want it. You want the dialogue to continue so you can “negotiate” three superficial things that will make you look like a “deal maker”, but in reality, you are collaborating with the continuation of this communist dictatorship. Off with your head “Andreína Pardo”

  14. Tenemos pleno derecho a abogar y luchar por un pronunciamiento más enérgico. Eso no nos da derecho a recurrir a medias verdades y acusaciones falsas para fortalecer nuestro punto. Cuando lo hacemos, actuamos con las mismas mañas del gobierno que tanto criticamos.
    PD: “WTF”, yo no uso seudónimos.

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